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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/501

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LIFE IN THE SOLOMON ISLANDS.

in another village we visited there were five large head-hunting canoes, profusely ornamented and inlaid with pearl-shell. The house was about eighty feet long, with a high-pitched roof, the end being closed in, but two narrow slits being left for the high prows of the canoes to pass through (Fig. 2). In this house there were eight heads; I recognized among them the straight hair of natives

PSM V35 D501 Head hunting canoe and canoe house at rubiana.jpg
Fig. 2.—Head-Hunting Canoe and Canoe-House at Rubiana.

of the Lord Howe's group, and was told that a year or so previously a canoe containing sixteen of them had been driven from Lord Howe's group to Isabel, where they have been caught from time to time by the head-hunters. In another canoe-house in the same town I counted thirteen heads. After some persuasion they carried out the largest canoe for me to photograph. The Rubiana men returned next day from Isabel with five heads, from three men and two women; they also brought five prisoners alive. During the fortnight that I spent in the lagoon I heard of no less than thirty-one heads being brought home, as follows: Rubiana village, five; Sisieta, six; Kokorapa, three; Lokorokongo, seventeen.

I, for the second time, spent a fortnight at this place; and having on my previous visit gained the confidence of the two chiefs of Sisieta, named Wange and Ingova, I went frequently ashore at their town. On one occasion I saw the inauguration of a large trough for preparing and-pounding food, the ceremony taking place in the chief canoe-house of the town, I was assigned a seat next to Ingova, while above my head were the eight heads pre-